Prior to Saturday, Texas A&M had demonstrated many qualities of a championship-worthy squad: consistency, creativity, leadership and drive. Following a 41-38 razor's edge victory over Ole Miss the Aggies can add one more attribute to that list—clutch.
While the focus continues to center on reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, as well as his proven abilities in the clutch, the characteristic Saturday resonated not only with Manziel, but with the entire team.
After leading the entirety of the matchup, the Aggies proceeded to surrender two seven point margins and 21 points to the Rebels throughout the fourth quarter before finally clinching the win on a last second 33-yard field goal.
With the game on the line, all three facets of A&M's team pulled through.
Down seven with just 3:07 left in the game, the offense knotted the score off a Manziel rushing touchdown. The following drive, the defense dominated Bo Wallace and the Rebels with a quick three-and-out, an impressive account considering Ole Miss had found the endzone the previous three drives.
Once the offense received the punt, they proceeded to put A&M within field goal range, running the clock down to the final seconds before calling on the special teams unit. Kicker Josh Lambo then drilled the 33-yard game-winner, sealing the conference road victory for the Aggies.
Similar in many respects to A&M's 30-27 win last season in Oxford, Miss., where some late-game heroics from Manziel allowed A&M the victory, the Aggies gain valuable experience and confidence with the win over Ole Miss.
Down the stretch in close games, A&M as a unit understands the pressure and strain of both scoring and holding off opposing offenses, a vital factor considering the Aggies remaining road schedule against No. 10 LSU and No. 25 Missouri.
Considering the target on A&M's back following last season's success—in addition to the negative media surrounding Manziel's tumultuous offseason—the Aggies ability to perform well in the clutch will be key for their continued success in the SEC this year and beyond.
Saturday against Ole Miss, A&M proved its resolve on the field, and it's not one to be broken easily.
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